Burns support groups

Burns Family Group

The Burns Family Group offers support and information for families with a child who has experienced a burn or scald injury. We provide an environment where families with similar experiences can meet and support each other to help promote positive thinking. Over the past two years it has been a challenging time through the COVID-19 pandemic to run the Family Group at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital—however, in 2021 we are pleased to say we did organise for families to attend trips and provided support for them.

Residential family weekend

This took place in September 2021 at Littlehampton's Fire Service Rehabilitation Centre and was funded by the Children's Burns Trust. Several families from our group and from other burns units in the south east of England attended a weekend of therapeutic workshops, activities for the children, support from professionals and shared experiences from parent to parents.

Two families attended a family weekend in October at Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire. This replaced the annual jamboree that unfortunately could not take place last year. The weekend involved therapeutic sessions for the parents, activities for the children such as archery, climbing, bike riding and swimming. We also had a visit from the animal park nearby where children were able to interact with meerkats and snakes. The weekends are amazing for families to support each other, gain information and for children to have fun and make friends.

Online events

In 2021 the family group and other burns groups provided two online family days where professionals provided therapeutic sessions via Zoom and the play specialists provided activities for the children to do in their own homes. 

Summer camp

In August, a group of 8–13 year olds attended the residential summer camp at Grafham Water, enjoying a range of physical activities and making shared memories.

Each year there is usually a National Burns Camp for children and young people between the ages of 8–18. The camp provides a place for children to meet who have experienced a burn injury and to help to develop their sense of independence and confidence along with often making lifelong friends. 

Fundraising

The Burns Family Group needs to raise money to give children the opportunity to attend camp each year. If you are willing to raise funds or have any fundraising ideas, please contact Annette Maynard (Health Play Specialist) on 020 3315 3707 or . Your support would be very much appreciated.

Support website for families of children who have had a burn injury

Supportingchildrenwithburns.co.uk contains information to help support parents or carers of children and young people who have experienced a burn injury of any kind or size. When a burn injury happens to someone you care about it can be as distressing for you as it is for them. This website is not just for parents whose child has had a major burn, as we know that it can be a difficult experience regardless of how big the burn was, or whether or not a hospital stay or surgery was required. Other adults, such as grandparents, might also find this resource helpful.

Previous events

We are now able to have in-person events and to plan activities for the year ahead. So far in 2022 we have had:

  • Activity day at Knebworth House on 7 May
  • National Burns camp from 7–13 August
  • Trip to Alton Towers for teenagers in September
  • Annual Family weekend at Littlehampton Fire Service Rehabilitation Centre in September
  • National Jamboree at Grafham Water from 22–25 October

For more details please call Annette on Mars Ward on 020 3315 3706 or email caw-tr.burnsfamilygroup@nhs.net.

London Area Burns Adult Support Group

The group continues to meet roughly four times a year and is open to adults (16+) who have experienced a burn of any sort, at any age, and have been treated at any hospital. Although based in London, we have members from all over the country. We alternate between meeting to listen to speakers, have group discussions, and take part in social events. We are happy for people to bring family and friends with them.

This group offers a unique opportunity to not only get support from but also to give support to other burns survivors. People tell us that it can be really valuable to meet others with experiences of burns.

Latest news for 2022

As we are still hoping you will be able to join us in person at some point in the future we are again looking for a suitable venue to host us. Right now the plan will be to have some in person and virtual meetings but always within whatever the government guidance is at the time.

Our first in-person event for three years was held on 11th Jun. The weather was lovely and the company was exceptional. We were treated to a private walking tour of Old Mayfair by the lovely John/Peter, who entertained us with historical facts and stories about the area. We really enjoyed ourselves and then had a picnic in Berkeley Square. It was a pleasure to physically see everyone again and we hope to meet again at the end of the year.

Our most recent Zoom get together on September 8th was sadly overshadowed by the breaking news announcement just as we started that the Queen had died. In addition our invited speaker, PhD student Christia Huntington, had to pull out but we are hoping that she might be able to join us in March 2023 to talk about her work on the burns module of the HealthTalk website.

Upcoming events

The plan at present is to stick to roughly the same schedule of meeting every three months alternating between Zoom and in person. We will aim to meet in person for the end of year gathering in December and at an outdoor summer event in June/July. The two virtual events will be in March and September. 

  • Tuesday Dec 6th 2022, 6:30–8 pm— Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Level 1 (Exhibition space housing Koestler Arts: Freedom exhibition), Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Closest tubes are Waterloo, Embankment and Charing Cross (map below). Directions here
    The Plan: we will meet up at 6.30 PM at the Royal Festival Hall in the art exhibition on Level 1. It is a large indoor space and therefore it will not matter how the weather is outdoors. From there we can decide whether we want to go for a coffee, hot chocolate, mulled wine together indoors at the inhouse café or nearby or if people are interested, we can go for a walk through the stalls of the Winter Festival which has food, drink, gifts, Christmas lights and music.
    Please RSVP by phone or email using our contact details below so that we know how many people are coming.

For more information or to join our database please contact:

Lisa Williams
T: 020 3315 2504
E: lmwilliams@nhs.net

Dans Fund for Burns website and weekly live chat forum for burn-injured adults

adultburnsupportuk.org brings together all of the most helpful resources and information on the aftercare help/support available to burn-injured adults in the UK and putting it on one site for easy access. A weekly moderated Live Online Chat occurs every Wednesday from 7:30–9pm (UK time) and has grown from strength to strength. The ABSUK Live Chat has been developed to provide the opportunity for those affected by a burn injury to share their story and give and receive mutual support in a real-time, safe and private forum. Chat is now fully moderated by people with lived experience of burns.

To participate in the Live Chat, users must be registered and logged in. If you would like to share your experiences or discuss any issues you may be having in relation to burns, please register ahead of time and then login on the night.

Coping with the stress of a traumatic incident

We give this leaflet to our patients and families who have experienced a traumatic event. It contains information about how people might be affected, common reactions, helpful hints including grounding, self care and potential sources of help.

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